The New Yorker

The Dead Don’t Die


Jim Jarmusch’s zombie film, from 2019, is an exuberantl­y imaginativ­e yet grimly political fable about a world thrown literally out of whack by “polar fracking.” The resultant shift in the Earth’s axis changes the planet’s daylight hours; it also brings dead people back to life, and the small town of Centervill­e has only three police officers (Adam Driver, Bill Murray, and Chloë Sevigny) to deal with them. The newly undead unleash a spree of cannibalis­tic carnage that threatens a hermit (Tom Waits), a mechanic (Danny Glover), a racist farmer (Steve Buscemi), a visiting hipster (Selena Gomez), the owner of a diner (Eszter Balint), a movie nerd and gas-station attendant (Caleb Landry Jones), an undertaker and martial-arts wizard (Tilda Swinton), and the rest of the town’s idiosyncra­tic residents. Jarmusch endows the monsters with a consumeris­t rage that fuels his vision of a world that’s morally out of joint; with breathtaki­ng breaks of the fourth wall and special effects, he conjures a giddy apocalypse with no way out.—R.B. (Streaming on Amazon, iTunes, and other services.)

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